While I agree 110% with the portion about the debt reduction verses distribution payout, I am left somewhat puzzled by the following sentence:
This is a Board that is solely focused on the best interests of all unitholders.
Is this not the same board that recommend the sale of the company to a private equity firm for just $11.50 a unit? That certainly did not seem like the board was looking out for my interests as a unit holder then. Especially when certain people like Kinzel were reported to stay on with the new private company and get a partial ownership in the "new" company.
Secondly, unless I am mistaken, Cedar Fair is spending LESS on capital investment this off season compared to previous ones. While they haven`t officially released their 2011 capital budget (unless I missed it along the way, which is possible), the fact that there four "prime" parks are getting the same exact ride with the same exact name speaks to the fact that they aren`t investing as heavily in capital budgets this coming season, in an attempt to pay down more of their debt. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, but less money spend on capital budgets can also mean a lack of new things to attract visitors to visit the parks.
And, on the subject of the COO. Has Cedar Fair, until now, ever admitted that Falfas resigned? And even so, who is to say that his resignation was voluntary? He could have been given an ultimatum of resign or we will force you out. It still seems curious how he abruptly left, and how Cedar Fair never released an official statement about his departure. Even odder is that he really hasn`t been heard of since he left Cedar Fair.
Kinzel`s time has definitely come and gone. He is out of touch with many things, among them food prices. It is crazy that parks like KI are charging $3.75 for soft drinks (the prices at Cedar Point at least were slightly cheaper by five nickles!) The lack of food quality, and exorbitantly high food prices do not encourage people to spending money in the parks. If they were to give pass holders a general discount on food, like 10 or 20 percent, they may find themselves making more money from their pass holders. As it is now, the majority of pass holders likely will not eat in the parks, causing in park spending to go down. And in park spending has been going down at the Cedar Fair parks now for several quarters. It should come to no surprise as to the reason why. But for some reason, Kinzel and co. think they can continue to raise prices and nickle and dime their customers, all while the quality has gone down. While I understand what Kinzel has done, and in whole, I think CF has been good for KI, I think it is time for new blood in the leadership position. Whether that is now or a year from now.